The idea of an Asian model for development grew with the rise of the “tiger” economies of Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan, dubbed “the East Asian Miracle” by the World Bank. This model came under stress in the regional crisis of 1997, but the idea of Asia’s rise has resumed given the region’s rapid recovery and the persistence of Asian growth rates despite the 2008 global crisis. Yet the idea that Asia might serve as a blueprint for development is still contested, and there are questions about future sustainability. With many Asian economies still export-based, Asians must find ways to increase their own domestic consumption and intra-Asian demand. The region must also confront growing inequality and environmental damage from rapid industrialization.
Recognizing these challenges, Asia’s development will be neither predestined nor smooth. Asia’s future, even if on a good trajectory, will be a period of change and challenge.
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